CLEVELAND --- The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is testing a transit vehicle powered by General Motors’ hybrid propulsion technology. The vehicle will be used for the city’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) initiative called Silver Line. The GM hybrid-powered pilot vehicle is similar to the 21 vehicles that the RTA intends to purchase from bus manufacturer New Flyer Industries by the end of 2007. GM’s hybrid technology offers significantly greater fuel economy and cleaner emissions than conventional buses. The Silver Line is one component of Greater Cleveland RTA’s Euclid Corridor Transportation Project, which aims to improve transit service, use environmentally friendly vehicles, reduce traffic congestion, improve pedestrian safety, and promote development along Euclid Avenue. The project will provide shorter travel times along Euclid Avenue and linkages with other RTA services. According to the RTA, the Silver Line will be operational in 2008. Transit buses powered by GM’s hybrid technology deliver better fuel economy than traditional transit buses and produce up to 60 percent fewer oxides of nitrogen emissions and 90 percent fewer particulate, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions. Other benefits of the buses include reduced maintenance costs resulting from extended brake, engine oil and transmission oil life; superior torque, giving 50 percent faster acceleration than conventional diesel buses and operational sound levels approaching that of passenger cars. “The General Motors hybrid diesel electric drive system for buses uses the most efficient parallel hybrid architecture available in the world today and is perfect for BRT initiatives,” said Tom Stephens, group vice president of GM Powertrain. “If the U.S. had only 1,000 GM hybrid powered buses operating in major cities, the cumulative savings would be more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel annually.” Currently, there are nearly 380 GM hybrid-equipped buses operating in 29 cities in the U.S. and Canada. For 2006, GM starts the year with 216 hybrid-powered buses scheduled for delivery to six U.S. cities. The clean hybrid technology is manufactured by GM’s Allison Transmission, maker of transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems for commercial trucks, buses, off-highway equipment and military vehicles, headquartered in Indianapolis. New Flyer Industries manufactures the buses.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials